Sergeant William Dugan in front of his SPAD S.VII at Chaudun.

Charles B. Nordhoff as he appeared while serving with Escadrille N.99, January 1918.


Douglas MacMonagle served heroically in the American Ambulance Service and was awarded the “Croix de Guerre” for his work. He came to the Lafayette Escadrille from the Foreign Legion in June 1917 at Chaudun.

Sergeant David Peterson beside his newly arrived SPAD S.VII fighter at Chaudun.

In early June, the squadron moved from Ham to Chaudun in the VI Army’s Aisne sector. At this time, the Nieuports were replaced with SPAD VII’s and its designation changed to SPA.124 from N.124.

The area covered by the squadron included the historic Chemin-des-Dames.

During the Chemin-des-Dames offensive, the Allies mounted heavy bombing attacks which at first sustained heavy (80-85 per cent) losses. Finally, the Escadrille and other Allied pursuit planes drove back the German aircraft.
During this period, Lufbery scored his tenth victory; James Hall was shot down and hospitalized.

James Doolittle, Douglas MacMonagle, and David Peterson joined the squadron.

The squadron was transferred from Chaudun to St. Pol Sur Mer in mid July. The aerodrome with it long smooth runway was located less than two miles from Dunkirk on the North Sea.

The squadron’s mission was to support the Allied offensive in Flanders, but poor flying weather severely limited their combat time. As a result, they enjoyed a respite. As one pilot noted, “it was a pleasant interval...a continuous round of sea bathing, poker, and drinking parties with the pilots from the English squadrons.”


James N. Hall while a student pilot at the Buc School of Aviation, Spring 1917. Hall with Lafayette Flying Corps veteran Charles B. Nordhoff would write “Falcons of France,”“Mutiny on the Bounty,” and other works.


Lafayette Escadrille pilots at Chaudun, July 1917. Standing L-R, Soubiran, Campbell, Parsons, Bridgeman, Dugan, MacMonagle, Lovell, Willis, Jones, Peterson, Maison-Rougle. Seated - Hill, Masson and “Soda”, Thaw and “Whiskey”, Thenault, Lufbery, Johnson, Bigelow, Rockwell.